Der Blick ins All
The history of the contemplation of the heavens is at the same time a history of the hermeneutics of cosmic signs. Where literary observers of the universe look up to the heavens, interpretations of the self and the cosmos are necessarily bound up with the essential issue of the readability of signs. The cosmic moment is the moment in which texts reflect their own conditions of being. In the literature of the period from the mid 18th to mid 19th centuries we find reflections not only of the historically significant range of discoveries in the post-Copernican heavens, but also of the transition in aesthetic history from an aesthetics of mimesis to an aesthetics of autonomy.